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Saturday, December 14, 2019

With a Song in My Heart by Bea Tifton


When I found out five years ago that my autoimmune disease had progressed too much for me to ever
Steve Johnson, photo.
work outside the home again, I crumpled up my bucket list and threw it away. After all, I thought, what was the point?


Since then, I’ve bounced back a bit. I know that there are some things I really wanted to do that I will never be able to do, but I’ve created a new life for myself.  Recently, a friend of mine told me that a new choir was forming, auditions by invitation only. I hadn’t been able to sing for years as my health problems damaged my voice, but gradually, my voice was coming back.  I instantly wanted to audition, but I dithered. It had been so long. I was out of practice and, well, scared. But I knew that if I didn’t try, I would always wonder. This choir, you see, was going to be the choir that performed with the symphony orchestra for my town. No small feat. And, secretly, I’d always dreamed of singing in the vast, ornate concert hall where the orchestra performed. 

I prepared something simple and dressed up for the audition. The symphony conductor’s wife, a celebrated conductor in her own right, was going to be leading the choir. She was very nice but I was so nervous. I was sure I bombed my audition. But, the next day, I got the email inviting me to be a member of the choir.  I simply couldn’t believe it. I was over the moon.
 
The rehearsals were so much fun. I feel most alive when I am singing. I felt happier and more hopeful than I had in years. Finally, once again, I felt like I was a part of something. I had to take naps all day the day of and the day after rehearsals, and to be careful to limit my activities, but it was worth it. Finally, it was time for us to perform in the Home for the Holidays concert with the symphony orchestra. I was like a kid. I was thrilled to discover that the rehearsal hall and the performance hall are connected by a long, winding, underground tunnel. As we passed Santa's dressing room, I giggled like a schoolgirl.  It still didn’t seem real. But as I sat on the front row of the choir (how did that happen?) and the orchestra tuned up, I realized I was actually there, sitting right behind the percussion section.

We performed Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. I attended the choir party Sunday, then came home, exhausted but happy.  As I took out my journal that night, I turned to the back and looked over my newly-created bucket list. Carefully, I put a check by the sentence, “Sing in the performance hall with the symphony.”

And my heart sang. 


May your dreams come true this holiday season.






 

11 comments:

  1. Congratulations on singing in that hall with the symphony. May the other things on your bucket list come through so beautifully.

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  2. Thank you. I hope you have a bucket list, too. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. There's a quote I love that I used as the premise of a book I wrote. To paraphrase, "Just when you think you're at the end, you realize you're just beginning." Congratulations on taking steps toward a new beginning.

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    1. I love that, Joan Reeves. Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm going to remember it!

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  4. You are an inspiration to others! I'm grateful that you're able to sing with the chorus.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words! I'm still enjoying the adventure as we begin our preparations for a spring concert.

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  5. You are a brave woman! Best of luck with the choir...and Merry Christmas!

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    1. What a nice thing to say. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  6. Congratulations. I do have a bucket list one has a partial check ..and that is a treatment for neurofibromatosis... We are on the verge of a possible treatment.. only thing is I don't know if it's something that you would have to take for life or XYZ time but we're getting close.. but my job still is not done.

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  7. Heya, cousin - what a fantastic and uplifting story. So glad that you're recovering, and to hell with bucket lists. I make mine up as I go along. Hope you and your gang have the happiest of holidays!

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  8. Talk about being thrilled beyond words! And not only were you chosen, you were able to coerce that body of yours to cooperate just enough to make it all happen. Well done!
    Love,
    Auntie Jacquie

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